Mrs. Sickler on Ye


A higher power

You already know

Dagny Haglund, Art & Style Co-Editor

Note: Mrs. Sickler was interviewed prior to recent Westesque activities

Anyone who has ever stepped foot into a computer science class taught by Mrs. Sickler knows that Mrs. Sickler really likes music. The first time I heard Mrs. Sickler talk about music, it was about Car Seat Headrest and The Mountain Goats. These choices didn’t surprise me, considering it was coming from the same teacher who gave succulents out at her wedding and read a Bob Dylan poem at Plaid’s poetry reading. But as the trimester progressed, and our class grew closer, one thing became clear: Mrs. Sickler wasn’t just into “whiny men with guitars”, but also the legendary Kanye West. 

When I sat down to interview Mrs. Sickler about her love for Ye’s music, she was ecstatic to talk about it. Mrs. Sickler has always loved listening to music. When she was young she used to sit around listening to the CDs of her parents and practically lived in a Pink Floyd shirt. Mrs. Sickler told my first-trimester computer science class nearly every week, “I was the Pink Floyd kid.” When asked about her first experiences with music she said, “I didn’t have a computer and I didn’t have neighbors. What else was I supposed to do?”

Mrs. Sickler told me that she associates music with very particular memories, “It’s the mind palace,” she exclaimed under her breath. This memory association, she explained, was why she started listening to Kanye West in college, not middle nor high school. The first time Mrs. Sickler heard Kanye West was most likely at her middle school dance. She explained to me that she wasn’t really into Kanye’s college works because she associated it with high school dances and the pressure of attempting to be different during her teen years. “I was not like other girls, Dagny,” she told me. She also said, “Everyone sucks and everyone is stupid,” in mockery of her high school self. Early Kanye meant reliving the relatable, “someone’s gonna end up crying in the bathroom and it might be me” feelings of being a high school student.

In college, Mrs. Sickler finally started liking Ye’s music, after developing enough emotional maturity to no longer view it as too commonplace. “Mercy” by Ye was Mrs. Sickler’s song. She told me she thought this song was extraordinarily funny, “I can’t quote the parts I think are the funniest, but I think it’s such a funny song.” When asked to what extent her liking of his music was in college she said, “My roommate texted me one night to tell me she got a question right in trivia because it was about Kanye West, and she associated his music with me because I was always singing Kanye West.” As Mrs. Sickler continued reminiscing over college, I noticed that a lot of the music she talks about, she got into during college. “I was always singing Kanye, and swung very heavily between Bright Eyes and Kanye West.”

Mrs. Sickler truly began to appreciate the artistic qualities of Ye’s music after she graduated from college. She explained to me that her husband once came home from work after listening to Kanye West the whole day, and stated that Kanye West was the greatest of all time. “In order to talk to my husband about Kanye,” she told me, “I actually had to start listening to Kanye.” Now that Mrs. Sickler has children, she doesn’t listen to Ye as much as she used to. But when she does, it’s probably with her husband. “On the rare occasion that my husband and I go on a lunch date, we’ll go get Bánh Mì from Ineffable Cà Phê. We almost always listen to a Kanye album in the car as we’re driving. It’s the only time the kids aren’t there,” she said. Mrs. Sickler doesn’t want her children repeating Kanye West lyrics. “All I want to do is drive fast and listen to Kanye sing about the prison industrial complex.”

At this point in the interview, Mrs. Sickler’s appreciation of Ye’s music became evidently clear. I asked her what effect she thinks Ye has had on music and she responded by saying, “This is where I think my age benefits me. The era of bling rap is heavily influenced by Kanye, like all of the hip-hop from the early 2000s to 2010. It’s so funny I’ll hear a song and I’ll be like ‘Kanye had to produce this’. The things that he samples, and the way that he manipulates samples, I think we take it for granted, but at the time it really was a new thing.” Mrs. Sickler felt very strongly about Ye’s impact on hip-hop and even mentioned him being a genius. “It’s so genius to be able to hear something and turn it on its head and make it sound so good,” she said, “It’s a whole different categorization of genius.”

When I asked Mrs. Sickler about what her top five favorite Ye albums were, she said, “Oh, Jiminy Crickets.” Mrs. Sickler’s album choosings are based on her memories associated with said albums. Below is her list:

  1. Yeezus
  2. Ye
  3. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  4. The Life of Pablo
  5. 808s & Heartbreak

Mrs. Sickler recommends Kids See Ghosts for anyone unsure of where to start, “It’s a good entry.” ( Kid Cudi “will not be on Donda because he’s friends with you know who.”- Ye)